Ace Mill, Hollinwood

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Ace Mill, Hollinwood 0000.png
Ace Mill, Hollinwood is located in Greater Manchester
Ace Mill, Hollinwood
Location within Greater Manchester
Spinning (mule mill)
Location Chadderton
Serving canal Rochdale CanalHollinwood Branch Canal
Serving railway Oldham Loop Line
Owner Ace Mill Ltd
Further ownership
Coordinates 53°31′52″N 2°09′23″W / 53.5312°N 2.1565°W / 53.5312; -2.1565Coordinates: 53°31′52″N 2°09′23″W / 53.5312°N 2.1565°W / 53.5312; -2.1565
Built 1914
  • 1:1946
Floor count 5
Design team
Architect P.S.Stott
Engine maker Urmson & Thompson
Engine type Cross compound
Transmission type Rope
Date 1919
Manufacturer Platts
Cotton count 1's to 20ś
Mule Frames 118,032 spindles

Ace Mill is a cotton spinning mill in Chadderton in the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, Greater Manchester. It was built as Gorse No. 2 Mill, in 1914 and cotton was first spun in 1919 by the Ace Mill Ltd, who renamed the mill. It was taken over by the Lancashire Cotton Corporation in the 1930s and passed to Courtaulds in 1964. Production finished in 1967.

Although known as Ace Mill, Hollinwood (due to Hollinwood being the closest serving railway station), the mill is located in the Whitegate area of south Chadderton.


Oldham is a large town in Greater Manchester, England.[2] It lies amongst the Pennines on elevated ground between the rivers Irk and Medlock, 5.3 miles (8.5 km) south-southeast of Rochdale, and 6.9 miles (11.1 km) northeast of the city of Manchester. Oldham is surrounded by several smaller settlements which together form the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham; Chadderton and Hollinwood are such settlements. Chadderton and Hollinwood are served by the Rochdale Canal and the Hollinwood Branch Canal. A rail service was provided by the Oldham Loop Line that was built by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway.


Oldham rose to prominence during the 19th century as an international centre of textile manufacture. It was a boomtown of the Industrial Revolution, and amongst the first ever industrialised towns, rapidly becoming "one of the most important centres of cotton and textile industries in England",[3] spinning Oldham counts, the coarser counts of cotton. Oldham's soils were too thin and poor to sustain crop growing, and so for decades prior to industrialisation the area was used for grazing sheep, which provided the raw material for a local woollen weaving trade.[4] It was not until the last quarter of the 18th century that Oldham changed from being a cottage industry township producing woollen garments via domestic manual labour, to a sprawling industrial metropolis of textile factories.[4] The first mill, Lees Hall, was built by William Clegg in about 1778. Within a year, 11 other mills had been constructed,[5] but by 1818 there were only 19 of these privately owned mills.[6]

It was in the second half of the 19th century, that Oldham became the world centre for spinning cotton yarn.[6] This was due in a large part to the formation of limited liability companies known as Oldham Limiteds. In 1851, over 30% of Oldham's population was employed within the textile sector, compared to 5% across Great Britain.[7] At its zenith, it was the most productive cotton spinning mill town in the world.[8][9] By 1871 Oldham had more spindles than any country in the world except the United States, and in 1909, was spinning more cotton than France and Germany combined.[10] By 1911 there were 16.4 million spindles in Oldham, compared with a total of 58 million in the United Kingdom and 143.5 million in the world; in 1928, with the construction of the UK's largest textile factory Oldham reached its manufacturing zenith.[6] At its peak, there were over 360 mills, operating night and day;[11][12]

Gorse No.2 Mill, was planned in 1911 and was built by P.S.Stott completed in 1914. It was used for aircraft manufacture during the 1914–18 War. It started spinning cotton in 1919 for the Ace Mill Ltd, who renamed it, the Ace Mill.[13]

The cotton industry peaked in 1912 when it produced 8 billion yards of cloth. The great war halted the supply of raw cotton, and the British government encouraged its colonys to build mills to spin and weave cotton. The war over, Lancashire never regained its markets. The independent mills were struggling. The Bank of England set up the Lancashire Cotton Corporation in 1929 to attempt to rationalise and save the industry.[14] Ace Mill, Hollinwood was one of 104 mills bought by the LCC, and one of the 53 mills that survived through to 1950.


The 5 storey mill, has a floor area of 38,500 sq ft (3,580 m2). It was designed by P.S.Stott.[13]


It was powered by a 2500 hp cross compound engine (Mary and Elizabeth) by Urmson and Thompson built in 1920. It had a 26 ft (7.9 m) flywheel with 42 ropes that ran at 64rpm.[15]


This was a mule mill with 118,032 spindles in 1919.[13]


It is now used as a warehouse.


  • Ace Mill Company (1919)
  • Lancashire Cotton Corporation (1930s-1964)
  • Courtaulds (1964-)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ LCC 1951
  2. ^ Greater Manchester Gazetteer, Greater Manchester County Record Office, Places names - O to R, archived from the original on 18 July 2011, retrieved 9 July 2007 
  3. ^ Oldham County Borough Council (1973), Official Handbook of Oldham 
  4. ^ a b Butterworth, Edwin (1981), Historical Sketches of Oldham, E.J. Morten, ISBN 978-0-85972-048-9 
  5. ^ Bateson, Hartley (1949), A Centenary History of Oldham, Oldham County Borough Council, ISBN 5-00-095162-X 
  6. ^ a b c . McNeil, R.; Nevell, M. (2000), A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Greater Manchester, Association for Industrial Archaeology, ISBN 0-9528930-3-7 
  7. ^ Foster, John (1974), Class Struggle and the Industrial Revolution - Early industrial capitalism in three English towns, Weidenfield & Nicolson, ISBN 978-0-297-76681-0 
  8. ^ Gurr & Hunt 1998, pp. 1–5.
  9. ^ NW Cotton Towns Learning Journey,, retrieved 14 September 2007 
  10. ^ Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council (2001), Contaminated Land Strategy 2001 (PDF),, p. 16, archived from the original (PDF) on 14 March 2008, retrieved 11 March 2008 
  11. ^ Visit Oldham – The History of Oldham,, archived from the original on 6 August 2007, retrieved 16 September 2007 
  12. ^ Spinning The Web - Oldham,, retrieved 28 June 2006 
  13. ^ a b c Gurr & Hunt 1985, p. 20
  14. ^ Dunkerley
  15. ^ Roberts 1921


External links[edit]